Again this year, the Mobile World Congress was a truly enriching event and experience. Barcelona hosted between February 24th and 27th more than 85,000 MWC attendees from over 200 countries. In the light of the congress’ theme “Creating What’s Next” for the Mobile industry, the exhibition halls provided glimpses of the latest and most exciting smartphones, tablets, wearables, applications, accessories, and more. Leading figures such as WhatsApp’s CEO, Jan Koum, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, shared their vision about what to expect in the near future.
The key talking point without any doubt was Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, followed by WhatsApp’s announcement to add free voice-call services for its 450 million customers later this year, bringing new challenges to telecom operators. It will no doubtly further push the declining trend of the voice market, and justly raised the question if there is still an opportunity for Mobile Operators to make money on messaging and voice calls.
In this context, BICS was very happy to participate at a panel discussion about IP-based communication services on Mobile World Live Television. Divya Wakankar, Senior Product Manager & Business Development, Voice Strategy at BICS, explained how mobile operators can benefit from and monetise new technologies, such as RCS and WebRTC (watch the movie).
For Mobile Operators, deploying RCS will be crucial in the quest to remain relevant to consumers, keeping them connected and offering them competitive solutions with alternative applications.
However, there still seems to be a long way to go for Mobile Operators to quickly deploy full RCS, and Hosted RCS solutions can help to assure a fast RCS implementation without the need to purchase and install IMS equipment in the Mobile Operator’s infrastructure.
New business models where Mobile Operators offer packaged solutions including RCS and Real-time Web communications (WebRTC), on top of voice and messaging services, and in combination with the security of services that Mobile Operator’s usually offer to their customers, will help them monetise on messaging and voice services, and eventually answer the threat of the OTT players.
Hence, for sure we’ve seen a glimpse of the future at MWC 2014 and we hope you are as excited as we are to help you to build that future and bring all those new technologies to your customers wherever they may be!
Written by Cathérine Bals, BICS | 17 March 2014